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It was only a matter of time, we all knew it was coming. We hoped beyond hope to the last hope that it would end differently for Bioware's MMORPG. Some of us were convinced for a while that maybe this time we’d welcome in a true WoW contender but alas everything has gone as expected. Star Wars: The Old Republic has gone free-to-play. Players who opt to play for free can play all the way up to the current level cap of 50 and enjoy all of the story content available. There is, however, a paid option as well which is the original $14.99 per month subscription fee which will allow access to new content as it is released such as end-game expansions and will also include unlimited plays in PvP warzones. This is not to say that free players cannot enjoy some PvP but they will be limited in the number of games they can play per week which will slow down the process of acquiring PvP gear and other PvP reward items.
This news is both surprising and expected. We always knew the game would turn to this model just as Warhammer Online and other countless MMO’s have in the past, but the surprising aspect is how soon this has happened. It’s almost like EA is throwing in the towel here by admitting that the game isn’t what they expected it to be. What does this tell us as gamers? SWTOR isn’t making any money, it isn’t growing, and it’s reformed to a stagnant operation style as more and more employees have been getting transferred to other projects or laid off completely. SWTOR is still there and it’s easier now than ever to just hop on and play for a couple hours, but it looks as though our dreams of Star Wars MMO grandeur will have to be laid to rest for now.